Outpatient laparoscopic appendectomy for acute appendicitis.
ABSTRACT Laparoscopic appendectomy is the widely accepted treatment for acute appendicitis. This approach offers the potential of less pain, shorter hospital stay, and quicker return to activities. Traditionally, patients are hospitalized for 24 hours after laparoscopic appendectomy. This practice can be questioned due to the good results of other outpatient laparoscopic surgery. A retrospective review of 119 patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis was undertaken from January through September 2009; outpatient and inpatient laparoscopic appendectomies were compared. Patients were selected for outpatient management based upon physician discretion and their clinical course in operation and recovery rooms. Forty-two patients were dismissed on the day of surgery and 77 were admitted for 1 to 5 days postoperatively. No significant differences in age, gender, and preoperative comorbidities between outpatient and inpatient groups were found. Postoperative complications occurred in 2.4 per cent of outpatients and 11.7 per cent of inpatients (P = 0.16). Complications included superficial wound infections, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, intra-abdominal bleeding, pneumonia, and infected hematoma. Based upon this study, outpatient laparoscopic appendectomy can be performed safely in selected patients. This study provides the background for the present prospective protocol for routine outpatient laparoscopic appendectomy at our institution.